DePauw, Washington Charles
- Patrick J. Furlong
DePauw, Washington Charles (04 January 1822–05 May 1887), businessman and philanthropist, was born in Salem, Indiana, the son of John DePauw, a merchant and lawyer, and Betsy Batiste. John DePauw was a prosperous landowner and a successful politician. Young “Wash,” as he was called, was educated at the county seminary and assisted his father in various business enterprises. His father died when he was sixteen, leaving “Wash” $700 in cash and a small piece of property. Elijah Malott, a merchant, and Elijah Newland, a physician, acted as the boy’s guardians. Malott appointed DePauw as his deputy in the county clerk’s office before he was of legal age, and he won the position on his own in 1844. DePauw married his patron’s daughter, Sarah Ellen Malott, in 1846; they had two children. He was an early success in business and freely admitted his determination to earn a fortune. He soon owned a flour mill, a saw mill, and a wool-carding mill and in 1850 erected both a brick commercial building and a railroad depot in Salem. He was active in Democratic politics and won reelection as county clerk by a large majority in 1851....